A sentimental farewell to the printing presses, but not a goodbye

Posted Saturday, Mar. 15, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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kennedy The Star-Telegram will be at the door Monday, just as it has for 105 years.

It will be printed somewhere different. That’s all.

Monday’s newspaper will be printed and delivered from Plano with other news and financial papers, instead of Edgecliff Village.

We still work in downtown Fort Worth, in the same 800 block of Throckmorton Street where Fort Worth Star founder Amon Carter bought the Telegram in 1909 to launch his new Star and Telegram.

But the newspaper hasn’t been printed in the city since 1986. That’s when our printing center opened, moving the press run and distribution out of downtown traffic.

At that move, we worried that we couldn’t run into the pressroom anymore and shout, “Stop the presses!”

Now, modern presses run so quickly, the papers are mostly printed before they could ever be stopped.

Our old friends at The Dallas Morning News have been printing their newspaper and several others in Plano for years, and they had a couple of extra presses.

As it turns out, it’s not the first time the Star has been printed alongside a fellow newspaper.

Try the very first day.

On the morning of Feb. 1, 1906, advertising manager Amon Carter and others gathered in a 25-by-25-foot room at what is now Sixth and Commerce streets to watch the much-awaited publication of his original venture, the evening Fort Worth Star.

According to biographer Jerry Flemmons’ Amon: The Texan Who Played Cowboy for America, the newspaper office was underneath the Eagle Lodge Hall and behind the Senate Bar, known for its mural of a nude Venus.

A old flatbed press sat in the middle of the room, propped up in one corner by an iron brace.

But when press time came, there was no Star.

In a history published seven years later, the Star-Telegram reported: “At the last minute the old eight-page Bullock press failed to print and it was necessary to issue the first paper from the Record offices.”

The Daily Record, one of several rival newspapers, was run by Clarence Ousley, better known for his work at a Galveston newspaper during the 1900 hurricane and later as a Texas A&M University administrator and federal agricultural official.

The first Star bragged of a paid circulation of 11,156.

Less than three years later, Carter and his fellow pioneers folded the failing Star and borrowed $100,000 to buy the older and larger Telegram.

On Jan. 1, 1909, the first Star and Telegram was published from the Telegram building at 815 Throckmorton.

We’ve only crossed the street.

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @BudKennedy

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